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Big Hole in Russia Appearing Due to Climate Change

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In the arctic, some point to disappearing ice shelves and methane plumes as proof that climate change is happening. In the permafrost of the Russian steppe, people point at holes in the ground.
In the arctic, some point to disappearing ice shelves and methane plumes as proof that climate change is happening. In the permafrost of the Russian steppe, people point at holes in the ground.

Thanks to ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that human activity is pumping into the atmosphere, climate change is increasing average temperatures globally.

In the arctic, some point to disappearing ice shelves and methane plumes as proof that climate change is happening. In the permafrost of the Russian steppe, people point at holes in the ground, specifically at “pingos.”

About half-a-year ago, Russian scientists and geologists were puzzled by an unusual hole that appeared in the far north, on the Yamal Peninsula. They ruled out everything from meteor strikes to volcanic activity, leaving ice pockets, gas pockets, and climate change. Since the area is exceptionally rich in natural gas, some of these ice pockets are saturated with the stuff. Climate change leads to ice melt, which leads to holes in the ground, and it’s happened again!

Lots of new holes opening up in the Russian North.
Lots of new holes opening up in the Russian North.

With this latest event, there are a total of seven craters in the far north of Russia, five of them on the Yamal Peninsula. The latest crater discovered, surrounded by about two dozen smaller ones, opened up just six miles from a major gas production facility, which probably solidifies the link between the craters and natural gas deposits in the area, though scientists are still unsure as to the exact mechanism. Moscow-based Oil and Gas Research Institute Professor Vasily Bogoyavlensky has called for ‘urgent’ investigation of the new phenomenon. Will they find a link between the craters and climate change?

Residents living close to a new lake, that is, one that didn’t exist before, reported seeing a flash of light about the same time that the crater is believed to have formed. Again: climate change → ice melts → lake forms → natural gas explodes? For me, the link seems clear, but we’ll have to wait for scientists to complete their investigation.

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